Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

'Lost in translation' interview becomes web hit


Jim Spence interviews Slovak Dusan Pernis

A video of a BBC Scotland sports reporter trying - and failing - to interview Dundee United's new Slovakian goalkeeper has become an internet hit.

Jim Spence attempted to interview 24-year-old Dusan Pernis without a translator - but ran into difficulties with the first question.

The video has been watched by several hundred thousand people and has been shared around the globe.

"I just hope I haven't caused Dusan any embarrassment," Spence said.

"My Slovakian is non-existent. I think I need to work on my Slovakian as much as Dusan needs to work on his English.

"And not only has he got to get to grips with English, but also Scots English and Dundee Scots too."

A BBC Scotland producer published the video with the headline "A reporter should know when to give up".

I think I realised quite quickly things weren't going well. I should have stopped digging after question three
Jim Spence

It was also captioned with messages urging Spence to finish the interview and commenting on the reporter's lack of Slovakian.

The interview falters from the start when Pernis, who has come to Dundee from Slovakian club MSK Zilina, did not understand when Spence asked him his name.

Pernis apologises for his poor English, but Spence ploughs on with the interview.

The football journalist is forced to rephrase each question several times, but just receives baffled looks from the goalkeeper, who was signed by Dundee United in July.

"I think I realised quite quickly things weren't going well. I should have stopped digging after question three - I was halfway to Australia by the time I stopped," Spence said.

The video remained at the top of BBC Sport's most viewed video list for two days and has been watched almost half a million times.

Spence added: "I didn't realise how big it had become.

"I have two kids, who are 14 and 17. It was them who pointed out to me that lots of their friends at school and university were watching it."

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